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INCREASING ACCESS AND SUPPORT TO TERTIARY EDUCATION Lessons learnt from CSI-funded bursary programmes in South Africa Presented at the SAGRA Quarterly.

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Presentation on theme: "INCREASING ACCESS AND SUPPORT TO TERTIARY EDUCATION Lessons learnt from CSI-funded bursary programmes in South Africa Presented at the SAGRA Quarterly."— Presentation transcript:

1 INCREASING ACCESS AND SUPPORT TO TERTIARY EDUCATION Lessons learnt from CSI-funded bursary programmes in South Africa Presented at the SAGRA Quarterly Network Event by: Silvester Hwenha

2 Presentation Overview 1.The problem 2.Significance of tertiary education 3.Structure of higher education 4.Research findings 5.Highlights from bursary programmes 6.Emerging insights 7.Lessons for corporate social investors

3 The problem…

4 Significance of tertiary education Tertiary education is critical in: developing specialised skills; conducting research and evaluating knowledge; job creation; and contributes towards poverty eradication and social and economic growth.

5 The structure of higher education in South Africa 102 public teacher training colleges, 20 universities and 15 technikons 102 public teacher training colleges, 20 universities and 15 technikons Restructuring & consolidation Restructuring & consolidation 23 HEIs 11 universities 6 comprehensive universities 6 comprehensive universities 6 universities of technology 6 universities of technology Over 90 registered private HEIs

6 The structure of higher education in South Africa (cont’d) Enrolment in higher education (public) (private) Enrolment in FET Colleges (public) (private) AETC to 24 year-olds not in education, employment or training (NEET) 3.2 million.

7 Research findings – the good Increasing student enrolment in colleges and universities: Gender equity has been achieved in tertiary enrolment State spending on universities increased from R6.7 billion in 2000 to R23.4 billion in In 2012/13 universities were allocated R20.9 billion and the budget is projected to increase to R24.6 billion by 2016.

8 Research findings – the good (cont’d) Between 1991 and 2012 National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funded students at a total cost of R25.1 billion in bursaries and loans. Annual funding for NSFAS has increased from R22 million in 1991 to R513 million in 2000 to R3.2 billion in In 2012 NSFAS was allocated R5 billion for student loans and bursaries; CSI funding for education has increased over time. In 2013 the education sector received 43% of the almost R8 billion of total CSI spend.

9 Research findings – the bad (cont’d) Racial inequality in higher education still remains – 14% and 15% of Black and Coloured students between 20 and 24 years old are in higher education – 46% and 57% for Indian and White students between 20 and 24 years old are in higher education Unacceptably high student dropout rate – 45% of students drop out in university – Drop out rate higher among Black students (59%) – 35% of White students dropout Funding for tertiary education remains inadequate despite all efforts

10 Research findings – the bad (cont’d) Reasons for high student drop-out rate: Poor selection of learners entering higher education Lack of adequate funding Inadequate academic support Inadequate support systems to guide students through tertiary education Language of teaching and learning Lack of discipline among students and an entitlement culture

11 Research findings – the bleak reality (cont’d) Few students are passing matric with a bachelor admission Students lack adequate foundational academic skills and competencies to transition from secondary to tertiary education Poor career advice and choices First gap

12 Students require comprehensive financial support – tuition, books, meals transport and living expenses Psychosocial support required by students to deal with the demands of life on campus Mentorship programmes and peer support groups necessary for most students Workshops to support student social and academic development necessary to ensure students graduate Highlights from bursary programmes

13 Student recruitment and placement: Place the right students in the right courses at the right institutions – REAP – uses a network of partnerships and volunteers to identify and assist potential bursars in rural areas to apply for funding – Assist bursars to make appropriate career choices – SciMathUS Bridging Programme – for students who did not qualify for higher education – TBF – first engage with learners in Grade 11 – Target specific universities with programmes that approved programmes Highlights from bursary programmes – best practice

14 Student support : Provide intensive support to effectively manage the initial transition – Provide full cost bursaries – Orientation camps – TBF – target universities that provide life, study and workplace readiness skills, provide mentoring support sand facilitate community service and vacation work opportunities – Peer mentorship programme (3 rd years students mentor 2 nd year students and 2 nd years mentor 1 st years) – REAP assigns a student development advisor to each student once a term to review and address any academic and social challenges – Stellenbosch University – First Year Academy (FYA) to support first year students at-risk of failing – Tutor groups in halls of residence Highlights from bursary programmes – best practice

15 Work placement: Expose bursars to relevant work place skills to complement the academic and technical skills – TBF - Third year workplace readiness camps – SU – Work placement programme Highlights from bursary programmes – best practice

16 Lack of resources and dependence on central government Inadequate infrastructure Increasing numbers of students Little research being conducted Research findings – challenges faced by HEI

17 Graduation rates still low More graduates in human and social sciences; business and commerce; and science and technology Tertiary graduates unprepared for the world of work Few programmes providing students with practical work place skills Many employers competing for few top graduates Universities training very few postgraduate students Research findings – the second gap (cont’d)

18 A more holistic and robust theory of change required in the education sector Inefficiencies in the education value chain renders the cost of education unnecessarily high Increase opportunities for post-graduate studies. Global competitiveness of any country rests on high level research and knowledge creation at tertiary institutions Tertiary institutions must be more responsive to skills required in the economy. Emerging insights

19 Assess the capacity, expertise and experience of bursary fund managers to ensure that investments in bursary programmes are effective, achieve intended goals and are sustainable Invest in and pay close attention to the selection of bursars Commit to get all bursars to graduation through ensuring access to funding student academic and social support needs Lessons for corporate social investors

20 . Support mechanisms designed to expose bursars to the world of work through holiday attachments, learnerships or job placements Promote the evaluation and impact assessment of bursary programmes in order to determine the value and contribution to society as well as the return on investment. Pilot innovative bursary-funding models and programmes and leverage government funding to take these to scale.

21 .


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